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Closing schools. Building helicopters.

   The lead editorial in today's Buffalo News Opinion section bashes the Buffalo Board of Education for failing to take the needed steps to reduce the excess capacity in the district's high schools. By doing so, they endanger millions in state aid needed to finish the crucial refurbishment of the district's many schools.
Flunking out
   Members of the Buffalo Board of Education seem to have forgotten they were elected to serve students and, in doing so, would have to make tough decisions up to and including closing schools so that the final phase of a $1 billion school reconstruction project could proceed. ...
   Buffalo has to go to the State Education Department with a plan to reduce high school space, which can only happen after the board has grown a backbone. School Board members were elected to do what’s in the best interest of students. So, do it.

   Also, we seek a middle ground between outright cancelation and full-speed-ahead options as regarding Vh-71 the new fleet of helicopters being outfitted to carry the president of the United States:
Spend the money 
   Just scrapping the VH-71 helicopter program would throw away between $3.6 billion and $3.8 billion. ...
   Skip the waste and the supercopters, and get the president an up-to- date, more mission-capable ride.

   Today's Another Voice column is another voice from the health care industry, this time Drew Altman of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.
Is industry’s action on reform for real? 
   The announcement that health care industry groups plan to voluntarily shave $2 trillion off the rate of increase in health spending over the next 10 years reminded me of the voluntary effort launched with similar fanfare in the Carter administration. Then, industry groups fended off President Jimmy Carter’s efforts to aggressively control the costs of hospital care by offering to do it themselves. Their efforts helped slow the rate of increase in health spending for a few years — and helped defeat Carter’s plan — but then the rate of increase in costs spiked again.

   And, in the My View column, Frances Kulik remembers
Brush with greatness still brings me joy 

-- George Pyle/The Buffalo News   

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